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Let me start with a disclaimer: I’ve been a faithful Netflix subscriber for many years. I’m a huge proponent of abandoning cable television Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More  and I’ve experienced my share of cord cutting benefits 4 Real Benefits Of Cutting Your Cable Cord 4 Real Benefits Of Cutting Your Cable Cord A few years ago, attending university, I started renting an apartment. I took over the current electric plan and went to a different Internet service provider, but the television provided a bit of a conundrum.... Read More . So this suggestion to avoid Netflix is not coming from an anti-Netflix bias.

The truth is, while Netflix is certainly an amazing and worthwhile service for many people, it may not be the right service for you. Just as there are pitfalls to cutting the cord 7 Pitfalls of Cord-Cutting You Should Consider First 7 Pitfalls of Cord-Cutting You Should Consider First Before you cut the cord to save yourself some money, there are a few things you should be aware of. Read More , there are downsides to Netflix that you might consider to be deal-breakers.

So before you hop aboard the Netflix hype train, take a moment to consider these imperfections.

1. Limited Regional Selections

Of all the drawbacks to Netflix, one is undeniably bad for viewers: The number and quality of movies and TV shows you have access to will depend on where you live.

Even though Netflix is constantly expanding — it recently opened in 130+ new countries Netflix Expands Everywhere, Oculus Pricing Causes Rift... [Tech News Digest] Netflix Expands Everywhere, Oculus Pricing Causes Rift... [Tech News Digest] Netflix is now available in almost every country, the Oculus Rift will cost you $599, Politwoops embarrasses backtracking politicians, Psychonauts 2 is getting made, and Trevor from GTA V is now selling Old Spice. Read More  — it may not be as useful to you as it is to me. I can enjoy the entire U.S. catalog for just $8-per-month, but if you can’t watch the same content, then that $8 cost may not worth it for you.

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There are times when I want to watch something only to find it’s only available on Netflix Canada or Netflix U.K. This happens very rarely, but when it does, it annoys me. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for people outside of the U.S. wanting to watch Netflix content available exclusively in the United States.

And yes, there are ways to watch everything on Netflix from anywhere in the world How to Watch Everything on Netflix No Matter Where You Live How to Watch Everything on Netflix No Matter Where You Live In this article, we explore why Netflix content differs from country to country, and how you can watch everything on Netflix regardless of where you live! Read More , the most common method being through the use of a VPN — but Netflix is starting to crack down on VPNs Why the Netflix Crackdown on VPNs Will Ultimately Fail Why the Netflix Crackdown on VPNs Will Ultimately Fail Netflix is set to crack down on VPNs to satisfy the rights-holders from whom it sources its content. So, how will Netflix’ ban work? And how effective will it be? Read More , so that method may go extinct soon. You could also try using Smartflix The One App Netflix Fears More Than Any Other The One App Netflix Fears More Than Any Other There's one app that Netflix fears more than any other. It's called Smartflix, and it could be the answer to your prayers. This article examines why. Read More , but that service could itself be killed off at any time.

2. An Outdated Library

The other big complaint about Netflix — which has been one of its sore spots ever since the streaming service went live — is that its library will never really be up-to-date. These days, only Netflix originals 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More  can ever be considered timely and trendy.

Due to licensing agreements with TV networks, it doesn’t make sense to let Netflix stream episodes as they’re released on a network (like ABC or CBS) because that would kill any incentive for people to watch the networks themselves. (Although Hulu does offer next-day episodes.)

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Netflix’s strength is in binge-watching, which means it’s really good for catching up on TV shows just before the next season begins airing — and that’s why a lot of Netflix’s library is about one year in the past. Networks aren’t willing to let Netflix load up its library with recent content.

Why one year, though? Because that’s when full-season DVD sales are still profitable, and that’s also one reason why films are so late to join Netflix’s library. Publishers only start licensing with Netflix when sales of a season, show, or movie have run their course.

3. Internet Requirements

The thing about Netflix — and any kind of online streaming service — is that the entire service is contingent upon your Internet connection quality. Whether you’re watching YouTube, Twitch, or Netflix, your ISP could be the difference between watching in 240p, 720p, or amazing 4K video 8 Eye-Popping Ultra HD Videos To Watch On Your New 4K TV [Stuff to Watch] 8 Eye-Popping Ultra HD Videos To Watch On Your New 4K TV [Stuff to Watch] We've trawled high and low and found some eye-popping 4K videos that take full advantage of the ridiculous number of pixels at your disposal, for free. Read More .

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If your Internet goes down, then there’s no Netflix. If people on your network are watching YouTube or playing games, and consequently hogging up bandwidth, Netflix will stutter. And if your Internet speed is bad, video quality will suffer. (Netflix automatically decides stream quality based on the health of your connection.)

Compare that to Blu-ray or DVD: you just pop the disc into the right player and you get the exact same quality all the time, and you can keep watching even if your Internet connection goes out. The value of this reliability cannot be overstated.

4. Data Cap Consumption

While we’re on the topic of Internet connections, let’s not forget that data caps are a very real nuisance to consider when streaming media — especially for videos, which can eat up more than 1 GB per hour depending on how much quality you demand when watching movies and TV shows.

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Indeed, data caps are a serious threat to services like Netflix. If you have trouble visualizing just how bad the problem is, let’s consider the example of Comcast testing out limits of 300 GB per month Why Do Data Caps Exist and How Can You Bypass Them? Why Do Data Caps Exist and How Can You Bypass Them? ISP and mobile data caps are the bane of everyday Internet users. Why do these exist? Are there any ways you can get around them? Here's what we know. Read More , which amounts to:

  • ~1,000 hours at Low quality.
  • ~425 hours at Standard quality.
  • ~100 hours at High quality.
  • ~40 hours at Ultra HD quality.

Estimates are based on Netflix data usage details.

And these figures assume that you do nothing else besides Netflix. With Ultra HD becoming the norm in home entertainment 7 Home Entertainment Trends to Watch Out for in 2016 7 Home Entertainment Trends to Watch Out for in 2016 There are some key trends happening in the world of home entertainment in 2016. From 4K televisions to virtual reality headsets. And we have the details on them all. Read More , these figures are simply unacceptable. If you have a capped Internet connection, then beware: Netflix will consume your data faster than you think.

5. No Ownership of Media

Of all the reasons not to abandon your CDs and DVDs Don't Sell Your CDs & DVDs! 5 Downsides to Going Digital Don't Sell Your CDs & DVDs! 5 Downsides to Going Digital You name it, there's probably a digital market for it. And while digital is awesome in many ways, it definitely isn't perfect. Here are five reasons why. Read More , this one is the most relevant: even though you pay for Netflix, you don’t own anything on it. If you buy a DVD, it’s yours. With Netflix, your payments disappear into thin air.

This means that after one year, you will have paid anywhere from $96 to $144 depending on which Netflix plan you chose — and have nothing to show for it except the memories of whatever TV shows and films you watched during that time.

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This is one of the big tragedies of joining the streaming generation. We’re starting to see a decline in the ownership of entertainment media The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation Read More , and that puts you at the mercy of content publishers and streamers.

The worst example of this is that shows and films can be pulled from Netflix’s library at any time. Nothing is more irritating than binge-watching a show like Breaking Bad only to find that it’s disappeared when you’re only halfway through.

6. Subscription Value

Netflix encourages binge-watching. In fact, it’s such an integral aspect of the service that the word “Netflix” is pretty much synonymous with “binge-watching” these days. Once you start a show, it’s really hard to stop (not good for those prone to procrastination How To Stop Procrastinating: The Only New Year Resolution You Should Set How To Stop Procrastinating: The Only New Year Resolution You Should Set Kick the habit of procrastination and start taking action without waiting for the right time. Stopping procrastination is the only new year resolution you need. Here's why. Read More ).

Television is also addictive, but it’s much easier to walk away when a show ends because you can’t control when a show can be marathoned or not.

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And it’s not just because Netflix makes it really easy to move from one episode to the next, although that does play a big part. It’s because Netflix is a subscription service. You pay the same no matter how much watch, so watching more in a month means wringing more value out of your subscription.

On the other hand, if you don’t watch much at all, then Netflix may not be worth the price tag. I mean, if you go a month without watching anything, then you’ve basically thrown away $8. So in a sense, the subscription itself encourages you to binge-watch, which can lead to a tech addiction 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression Technology can worsen depression. With tech enveloping our lives, we should be more aware of technology's potential impact on us. There are some things you can do to lessen the burden. Read More .

7. Loss of Channel Surfing

This last point is minor in the bigger picture, but still worth considering if you haven’t cut the cord yet: you can’t surf channels and just watch whatever’s playing. You always have to pick something, and sometimes the picking process isn’t so easy.

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Some workarounds do exist, such as this Chrome extension How to Channel Surf on Netflix, Hulu & YouTube (Like Cable TV) How to Channel Surf on Netflix, Hulu & YouTube (Like Cable TV) Miss the nostalgia of channel surfing cable television? You can still do that with Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube! Read More  that will simulate channel surfing for you based on certain genres, but even those tend to be riddled with bugs and/or veer too far from the real thing. There’s a charm to knowing that a show is playing live, and Netflix doesn’t have that.

For the Most Part, Netflix Is Worth It

Again, let me reiterate that I’m a huge Netflix fan. I’ve been watching it every single day for the past few years and my appreciation of it far outweighs whatever gripes I might have. It’s truly worth it — so much so that we have previously argued why you should be willing to pay more for Netflix Why You Should Be Happy to Pay More for Netflix Why You Should Be Happy to Pay More for Netflix Every time Netflix increases its prices, millions of binge-watching users balk at the prospect of paying a couple of dollars more. But this is dumb, because Netflix is an absolute steal. Read More .

However, if any of the reasons above resonate with you, then perhaps it would be better for you to skip it and move on. If you’re unsure, try the free 30-day trial, but don’t feel bad if you don’t like it. Even the best Netflix features How Netflix Knows Exactly What You Want to Watch How Netflix Knows Exactly What You Want to Watch Netflix's rise to being the world's primary streaming service was no fluke. It was based on a recipe of data and emotion that means the company always knows what you want to watch. Read More  won’t matter if the service is incompatible with your needs.

How well does Netflix fit into your life? Are there any specific gripes you have about the service? If you already subscribe, could you live without Netflix? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Image Credits: Pile of DVDs by baitong333 via Shutterstock

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